‘I don’t think we need to wait until there is a fatality on a playing field’

AARON KERNAN HAS called on the violence on GAA fields to come to an end before it’s too late.

The Crossmaglen footballer was speaking at the launch of an Ulster GAA initiative ‘One Punch Can Kill’, which aims to highlight the dangers that come with these mass brawls. 

The issue has gained publicity in recent weeks after a flurry of videos emerged on social media from fights at matches in Derry, Tyrone, Down, Kerry and Cork.

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Former Armagh star Kernan says it’s not an issue that’s confined to Ulster and warned that flashpoints in GAA games must come to an end before there are tragic consequences.

“I didn’t think it was happening as frequently as it seems to be popping up now,” he told BBC Sport.

“It is nationwide. I’ve seen footage from Kerry and Cork and they are not good to look at.

“I know at times we try to brush it off and blame other people but, as players, we need to start taking responsibility because it’s not nice to look at, we’re all to blame, this isn’t one province issue, one county issue, one club issue, it’s happening nationwide.

“There are mobile phones at games now and it going to go viral and how we as players behave on the field needs to improve for the generations coming after us.

“It’s not how we want to portray our games, the likes of our county final on Sunday and the quality of football and the high scores, that’s how you’re going to inspire young people to play our games.

“The reality is that it could happen and I don’t think we need to wait until there is a fatality on a playing field or in the stands. This is the game we love and brings pride to our communities. As adults, we need to take a step and realise what we’re doing.

“The more it happens, the higher the likelihood that the ultimate would happen.”

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